Last March I shared a story with you about a lovely man and his love of banana cream pie. But it occurred to me that the vanilla custard itself deserved its own post so folks can find it with a quick search. It's simple to make and you can use it in a trifle or as filling between layers in a special cake or even just eat it with a spoon. Sure you can use custard powders but they have negligible nutritional value and some odd sounding ingredients, as well as sugar. This custard, on the other hand, has fresh egg yolks, so it would helpful if you are trying to boost the protein in someone's diet. But MOST importantly, it tastes delicious!
The following amounts make a little more than 1 3/4 cups or 425ml of custard. Just so you know.
1⁄2 cup or 110g sugar
1⁄3 cup or 42g all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 1⁄4 cups or 530ml milk
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon or 15g butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In 2-quart saucepan (no heat!) mix sugar, flour and salt. Stir in milk until smooth.
Make sure you get ALL the lumps out before turning on the heat.
Over medium heat, cook mixture, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and begins to boil (about 10 minutes). Boil one minute. Remove immediately from heat and set aside.
See the tiny bubbles? It's gently boiling.
Separate your egg yolks from your whites, by gently transferring the yolk from one half of the shell to the other, putting the whites directly into a sealable plastic container for the refrigerator. (Later, you can make something lovely with these!) Put the yolks in a bowl with enough room to whisk.
Beat egg yolks quickly with a whisk, while drizzling in about a 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture. Quick beating and slow drizzling are essential so that you don’t end up with cooked eggs.
Slowly pour egg mixture into the saucepan, stirring rapidly to prevent lumping.
I know it doesn't look like I was quickly stirring but that is just because I fake poured for the camera and then really poured and stirred like crazy after.
Occasionally, scrape the saucepan with a rubber spatula.
Over low heat, cook, stirring constantly, until very thick (do not boil) and mixture mounds when dropped from spoon.
Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla.
Congratulations, you have made homemade vanilla custard. Once the butter has melted, pour the custard into a metal bowl. Cover its surface with plastic wrap to prevent skin forming. Refrigerate until set, about four hours. This delicious homemade custard can be used in a variety of desserts when fully set or simply eaten with a spoon when soft set, after it cools.